As death approaches, an old Japanese man finds it necessary to clean his soul, to confront the mistakes of his youth, and to confess about a time when he might have been able to save the thousands who died at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The title novella is complemented by Suspended: Five Stories. In the rest of the collection, through Barkan’s beautifully direct style and canny ability to enter the mind, the reader gets to know a wide range of characters intimately. In Forty, a man from Boston travels to a wildlife refuge in Uganda, seeking to overcome a personal crisis. In Suspended, an amnesiac in Hawaii attempts to discover his real identity. Shanghaied features two lonely co-workers searching for love and excitement while on vacation. Banana Bat tells of a newlywed couple, honeymooning in Costa Rica, working to patch up an already faltering marriage. And in The Warrior, a young man falls in love with a woman whose fiancé committed suicide following the Gulf War.